"Crazy To Love You"

General discussion about Leonard Cohen's songs and albums
Steven
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"Crazy To Love You"

Post by Steven » Sat May 11, 2013 8:07 pm

Hi,

Anjani's recording of "Crazy To Love You" has the song's protagonist as a female. On Old Ideas,
Leonard Cohen's recording of the song presents the protagonist as a male. Leaving aside any preference
you may have for either of the recordings, does the song work better for you with the protagonist being
female or male?
HelenOE
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Re: "Crazy To Love You"

Post by HelenOE » Sun May 12, 2013 5:41 am

I haven't heard Anjani's version all the way through, just the Glenn Gould clip. Did she leave the "I'm old and the mirrors don't lie" line intact? Because that would be implausible on the face of it (so to speak.) Like Mick Jagger singing "I can't get no satisfaction."

I suppose I'm all hogtied by traditional gender roles and whatnot, but to me, a man singing the song sounds rueful and a woman singing the song sounds a little bit pitiable.
Steven
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Re: "Crazy To Love You"

Post by Steven » Sun May 12, 2013 6:15 am

Hi HelenOE,

Yes, she left the line intact on the recording.
HelenOE
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Re: "Crazy To Love You"

Post by HelenOE » Sun May 12, 2013 6:45 am

Then I'm sorry, a beautiful woman singing that line makes absolutely no sense at all. Anything a non-mendacious mirror is telling Anjani is not going to be a discouraging sort of communication.
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anneporter
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Re: "Crazy To Love You"

Post by anneporter » Sun May 12, 2013 11:20 am

Interesting point of view, Helen? Are you saying that beautiful women don't age? Or that, when they do notice signs of aging in the mirror, they are to be pitied?
newfoundland--understand?
Vicomte
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Re: "Crazy To Love You"

Post by Vicomte » Sun May 12, 2013 12:48 pm

Many songs are just words, they don't have to relate to the singer do they?

For instance, In the Partisan it is not actually Leonard is it.

When they poured across the border
I was cautioned to surrender,
this I could not do;
I took my gun and vanished.
I have changed my name so often,
I've lost my wife and children
but I have many friends,
and some of them are with me.
I guess it all started for me sometime around Christmas 1967 and now, goodness me, it's.........2018 and over fifty years later.
No one ever listens to me. I might as well be a Leonard Cohen record.
Neil from The Young Ones
HelenOE
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Re: "Crazy To Love You"

Post by HelenOE » Sun May 12, 2013 1:08 pm

No, Leonard isn't the partisan, but he's enacting the role, just as Anjani is enacting a role. They're interpreting the song.

Guess I need to do a little more unpacking there. I was thinking about the congruence between the lyrics and the singer, and I let two different aspects of that congruence-- or lack of congruence-- get a little mashed together.

One is the mirror line. This I'd call a lack of congruence when Anjani sings it. She is beautiful, and will undoubtedly continue to be beautiful as she ages, but in the context of the song, "I'm old and the mirror don't lie" is offered as one of the reasons why it's crazy for the singer to seek love. It's a disqualifying factor. And WHO would look at Anjani and think, "Yup, that's her problem all right. She's too old for this game!" Just not that believable.

That specific instance aside, considering the difference between a woman and a man in headlong, crazy pursuit of one who was "never the one," I'm still inclined to suspect (hogtied by the gender roles, remember) that it probably is more often men who plunge headlong, and come back reporting ruefully on an experience that has been shared and will be understood by others in the fellowship. For a woman to do it, to forego that little space of consideration before the plunge, suggests both greater desperation and greater risk to her very identity: "had to be someone I hated, had to be no one at all." And that's what seemed pitiable to me.
Tchocolatl
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Re: "Crazy To Love You"

Post by Tchocolatl » Sun May 12, 2013 7:13 pm

To pity is judgmental, in my eyes.

For me I just listen and receive the story that is told to me in this song. It is a story that I can understand. Told by men and women alike.

Real Human beings venture on those territories where they are not always looking good, looking god, looking good like gods, when they dare going out of their ivory tower to meet others in particular and Life in general. There is no real Love if people are not real, and there is no such thing as a completely non-vulnerable real human being.
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
HelenOE
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Re: "Crazy To Love You"

Post by HelenOE » Mon May 13, 2013 12:01 am

I would never say there is, or should be, such an entity as an invulnerable human being. And yes, there is some judgment involved in that word "pity" (as opposed, say to the simple feeling-with or suffering-with of compassion): you see a person suffering, but maybe you also see at the root of the suffering an unfortunate choice, a bad decision. But there's the fork in the road: do you try to communicate "I see your suffering" and hopefully alleviate some of the loneliness that comes along with the suffering, or do you try to communicate "I see your choice, and it was unfortunate" and thereby improve your own position (in your own mind) vis a vis the other person, while increasing the person's shame & loneliness? I don't think judgment is a bad thing, even though we seem to be moving fast toward a culture in which judgmentalism is the only sin, but you do need to be careful what you do with it.
Tchocolatl
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Re: "Crazy To Love You"

Post by Tchocolatl » Mon May 13, 2013 2:40 am

I see what you mean (I guess) when you say that being there for someone is sometimes acting like a good parent, discrimining between good or bad, in order to help someone's growth. I'm always grateful to have such individuals all around me, who are taking their precious time to go out of their paths only to take care of me and my mistakes.

The thing here is : the matters of the heart, you know... They are not a choice. Good or bad. Why our heart beats for someone is not a choice. The only choice is in following our heart or not. Love is the only sickness for which the sick person does not want to be cured. A very bad disease, love. 8) I'm not sure it helps to rub pity on a fresh love sore, when we know that it hurts like a burning. Rubing judgments on first-degree, second-degree, or worst, third-degree burns, I really can not see how it helps, in a first time. Later maybe when the douleur is tamed.
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
HelenOE
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Re: "Crazy To Love You"

Post by HelenOE » Mon May 13, 2013 2:56 am

Oh no, you're right, application of the judgment just increases the shame, which helps no one.
Tchocolatl
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Re: "Crazy To Love You"

Post by Tchocolatl » Mon May 13, 2013 6:41 pm

The Analysis of a situation - the use of logical faculties to support and structure the emotions (not to suppress or condamn them) can help to prevent shame, on the other hand, 8) but it is useless in an emergency situation, I guess.

Anjani is pretty but feeling pretty (or not) is not logical. Anyway this is a song, this is not Anjani.

Songs of Leonard Cohen are like that: soothing.

I never understood how they can have had a reputation of being depressing. They are like the best soothing care on emotional pain. They cure the world, too. At least for me. 8)
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
UrPal
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Re: "Crazy To Love You"

Post by UrPal » Mon May 13, 2013 7:54 pm

Steven wrote:Hi,

Anjani's recording of "Crazy To Love You" has the song's protagonist as a female. On Old Ideas,
Leonard Cohen's recording of the song presents the protagonist as a male. Leaving aside any preference
you may have for either of the recordings, does the song work better for you with the protagonist being
female or male?
I prefer the song with the protagonist being a male as told by Leonard Cohen.....

That might be because I am male myself and therefore identify more with it delivered in a male voice... It might also be that the experiences recounted through the song fit a male perspective more easily, or simply that I prefer the straight guitar-backed performance to the piano-led one.

Having said that, I knew and loved Anjani's version of the song long before Leonard did it....and would have been happy with her version had it been left to stand alone without the newer one with which to compare it. I didn't consider for a moment that there was any disparity of perspective when Anjani sang the original, so it must fit both bills where the singer delivers the goods with appropriate skill and conviction.
Tchocolatl
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Re: "Crazy To Love You"

Post by Tchocolatl » Fri May 17, 2013 5:04 pm

HelenOE wrote:Oh no, you're right, application of the judgment just increases the shame, which helps no one.
If shame is understood as guilt, it helps when it is a sane guilt i.e. when the emotion and thoughts are congruent with the reality. There is no such thing as a perfect human being, he? So sometimes we act like a.. h...s. All of us. That's it, that's all. Feeling shame and guilt is appropriate and helps a lot both the individual and the surrending. And the society. And the human specie. 8) And probably some extraterrestrial or two, at this stage of our History.

We all know when we are doing something wrong. No need to explain this, we all have an inner meter which is telling us exactly when we are doing right or wrong. Or when it is done, more often.

There is also unsane guilt (or shame). It is this caterogy only that does harm.

But it is preferable to feel a bit guilty for nothing once in a while than feeling no shame for whatever harm one can do. You don't want to meet one of those individuals who never feel guilt nor shame.

To part unsane guilt from sane guilt demands a little time and analysis which is often considered as mental masturbation in our time of instant acting - without much thinking. But it pays a lot. I mean, being alive, feeling alive, is more than to surf always at the surface of the consciouness. A human being is so rich in potential, the ability to co-create being so powerful.

This said, feeling a fool to love somebody is a very intimate feeling when the reason and the emotions are in conflict within us. When love is not returned we feel sometimes "not enough" (just like we feel like gods and godesses when the miracle of a shared love is happening to us). Both women and men can feel it, so I can't see why Anjani could not sing this song.
***
"He can love the shape of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have among us such men, such balancing monsters of love."

Leonard Cohen
Beautiful Losers
HelenOE
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Re: "Crazy To Love You"

Post by HelenOE » Fri May 17, 2013 6:27 pm

I definitely distinguish shame from guilt. Guilt (awareness of having transgressed a moral norm, feeling bad because you've done something bad) can be a healthy thing, and pull you back to the truth and away from hurting yourself and others. Behavior can be changed, and very often needs to be. But shame (a sense of being unworthy, rejected, defective, unsatisfactory in your very nature or being)... not.
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